Small Grocery Chain Has Best Reputation of Any US Company


By Douglas A. McIntyre, 24/7 Wall St.          

March 7, 2019 is not the most admired company in America. Neither is Walt Disney or Apple, which often top the most admired lists. The honor in a major annual poll done by Harris goes to the modest-sized grocery chain Wegmans. It was founded in 1916 and has only 98 locations.


The Harris study, which has been renamed the Axios Harris Poll 100 this year, is two decades old. For the 2019 results, it questioned 18,228 people in the United States. The research covers what Harris describes as the “public’s top of mind awareness of companies who either excelled or faltered in society.” The companies covered by the study have to be visible enough for a set number of Americans to have an opinion based on the Harris methodology.


Wegmans bested some of the most well-known companies in the country. It had a score of 83.0 based on the Harris yardstick and moved up from the second position in the 2018 study. It replaces Amazon, which was in first place last year. Amazon had a score of 82.3 in the 2019 survey. While Amazon has quickly become one of America’s largest retailers, Wegmans is the 54th largest retailer in the United States, according to the National Retail Federation. Wegmans is not a stranger to lists of companies with good reputations. It was in second place in the Fortune “Best Companies to Work For” list for 2018. It has been on the list since 1998.


Another reasonably small company was third on the Harris list. Patagonia, which makes outdoor clothes, had a score of 81.4. Another small retailer, L.L. Bean was in fourth place with a score of 80.7. It has only 55 locations. In fifth place, Disney had a score of 80.4. It was followed by regional grocery store Publix, which has 1,250 locations and a score of 80.3. In seventh place, Samsung has a rating of 80.0, followed by Procter & Gamble with a grade of 79.8. Microsoft was in ninth place with a rating of 79.7. Rounding out the top 10, Sony had a score of 79.4.


Several major companies saw their ratings take a nose dive...